Citing the scarcity and testing capabilities of currently DEA-registered hemp laboratories, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the DEA registration deadline imposed on hemp testing labs by a year, pushing it from Jan. 1st, 2023 to December 31st, 2023.
The requirement stems from the USDA’s Final Rule for the Domestic Production of Hemp, which went into effect on March 22nd of 2021, and included several other provisions related to allowable hemp testing methods, THC “negligence limit,” acceptable measure of uncertainty values, and more.
Hemp producers, laboratories, and anyone else operating under the regulatory scope of the USDA Final Rule still have to comply with the other requirements; the DEA registration requirement is the only one that has been delayed thus far.
Though hemp advocates breathe a sigh of relief in the wake of the delay, some—like the U.S. Hemp Roundtable—are vying to have the requirement removed altogether.
“We are very pleased that the USDA has provided producers another year to avoid the tremendous burden of securing a DEA-registered lab for hemp testing, but we would like for this requirement to be eliminated permanently,” said the Roundtable’s General Counsel, Jonathan Miller.
Indeed, many pro-hemp advocates like Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) are vocalizing their dissent about the DEA registration requirement, citing a poorly prepared infrastructure when it comes to hemp testing on a national level.
“There are insufficient testing facilities,” Pingree is quoted as saying in the U.S. Hemp Roundtable report. “Right here in Mane, we don’t have one at all—and there’s two that cover all of New England.”
As always, we’ll point to the Roundtable’s Federal Action Center as a means for hemp supporters to promote fair regulation, and will report back with any updates.